In an April 13 Alabama Daily News story, Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown and others advocate for opening small stores under occupancy, social distancing and health standards as have been placed on larger stores.
“The Alabama Retail Association and many of its members don’t understand a public policy that sends the same number of consumers to a smaller group of retailers creating denser crowds,” association President Rick Brown told Alabama Daily News on April 10. “This policy seems at odds with the Alabama Department of Public Health’s stated objective to avoid large gatherings.
“Our suggestion is to reopen small retail stores with occupancy restrictions and social distancing standards similar to those placed on big-box stores,” Brown said today. “This will diffuse consumers to more retailers, thus limiting crowds. An added benefit is that this policy change will invigorate our local economies and keep retail employees employed.”
Brown is a member of the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Task Force Subcommittee, which is expected to submit a plan to the governor and state health officer by Friday, April 17.
Retail stores and restaurants combined are Alabama’s largest private employer.
In other related news:
- Former ARA Chairman George Wilder: ‘Figure out what makes sense and do that.’
alabamaretail.org, April 10; Alabama Political Reporter, April 11; Alabama Today, April 12
- Alabama lawmaker wants small businesses to reopen to fight coronavirus hardships
WAAY31, April 13
- Health vs. economy: How, and when, does Alabama reopen?
al.com, April 12
- Del Marsh: ‘There has to be a balance’ between the medical, economic perspectives in state’s coronavirus response
Yellowhammer News, April 11
- Gudger asking for input from businesses on reopening
The Cullman Times, April 10 Features Sen. Garlan Gudger, owner of Alabama Retail Association member Southern Accents Architectural Antiques
- COVID-19 restrictions unfairly choke small business
Alabama Policy Institute, April 8 Features member Couch’s Jewelers of Anniston
- Small businesses greatly affected by shut-down order
The West Alabama Watchman, March 31 letter by Mike Walters, owner of three Larry Walters Furniture stores in west Alabama